by Isi Esene
Two policemen who were reportedly supposed to be on duty at the palace premises where Professor Mabel Kamene Okonjo, mother of the finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped have been arrested and detained.
In addition to the intensive search currently being undertaken to ascertain her whereabouts and bring the 82-year-old woman home safely, the minister of police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd.), yesterday, instructed the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to deploy Special Police Officers from the Force headquarters,Abuja to assist rescuing her.
Olubolade reportedly said, “It is a very disturbing issue. In unraveling this matter, the Police must take into cognizance that we have a role to let others know that such incidents will be given equal treatment. It could have been the mother of anybody.
“Already, the IGP has deployed his men and they are working round the clock on the issue. The IG is on top of the situation. However, I have instructed the IGP to deploy specialist officers from Abuja if need be, to help in fishing out the culprits.”
On the arrest and detention of the two policemen who were expected to be on guard at the palace on Sunday afternoon when the kidnap occurred, the Delta State commissioner of police, Ikechukwu Aduba, said, “We cannot cover up anybody, investigations were carried out and the two police officers who were supposed to be on duty are now in detention.
He also spoke about reports in the media which suggested that a ransom has been demanded by the kidnappers.
Aduba said, “As far as I am concerned the issues of ransom in the newspapers are all stories. And I don’t like telling stories. I deal with facts. We have spread our dragnet to ensure we get these hoodlums. Issues of ransom, we are not involved and we have never supported it.”
Professor Mabel Okonjo, the wife of Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo, the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area was kidnapped on Sunday afternoon at the palace.